Taking the book of the covenant, [Moses] read it aloud to the people, who answered, "All that the Lord has said, we will heed and do." Then he took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words of his." (Exodus 24:7,8).
I stopped for a while at the end of verse eight and let my mind consider an important principle of Christian faith illustrated in this text:
First comes the promise to obey God, and then comes the sprinkling of the blood which saves. As St. Peter wrote in his first epistle, "To those who . . . are chosen . . . to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure" (1 Peter 1:1-2).
I sometimes wonder if many in today’s Church have forgotten -- or have minimized -- the strict relationship between obedience and forgiveness, obedience and salvation, obedience and the Blood of Christ.
“Why do you call Me Lord, but do not do what I say?” Jesus asked (Luke 6:46). And St. Paul boldly warned the Corinthian Christians, telling them whoever takes Holy Communion without first repenting of sin and promising to obey Jesus, takes the precious body and blood of our Lord unworthily and “eats and drinks judgment” to himself (1 Corinthians 11:27-31).
When was the last time anyone heard that warning prior to receiving Holy Communion?
God loves us very much. This is true. But His love is not a warm, fuzzy and doting emotion. It is powerful, fiery and holy. And He requires us to live holy lives: "You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). Neither should we ever forget, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31).